Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson & Friends – North American Tour, November 2022
Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson (Icelandic composer/performer) will be traveling with an ensemble of local collaborators along the East Coast of the United States in November 2022. His forthcoming album Landvættirnar fjórar will be fresh off the press from Carrier Records. The intention is to perform new and old repertoire, using animated notation along with some electronics coming from small portable speakers, playing a combination of conventional instruments and found objects. The music is centered around restless and bouncy rhythms that know no grid.
Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson is among the early pioneers of animated notation. His approach is based on intuitive explorations of organic rhythms that cannot be confined to any metronome. This extends into his ideas on intonation, harmony, sonorities and musical structure. Recently, the concept of the four elements has been a major influence, as have ancient tunings and traditional Icelandic poetic meters. He has been a part of the S.L.Á.T.U.R. experimental music association in Reykjavík, where he has found many like-
minded individuals among whom he has been able to develop his ideas and methods.
“The listening experience feels like being welcomed into an eccentric, remote village where residents have freely mashed together ancient traditions and newly invented customs to devise their own rustic utopia.” –Nick Storring on sinfónía in musicworks magazine Fall 2020.
” . . .Every piece on Skartamannafelagid is a triumph of this deeply integrated way of composing; layers pulling in different directions, astonishingly novel textures and sounds. We have something that appears to effortlessly bypass many conventions of form, melody and rhythm. . . A mesmerising set; absolutely gorgeous music.”“ -Ed Pinsent on Skartamannafelagid and Vorlag/Sumarlag in the Sound Projector January 12 2020.
“. . . [I] immediately fell in love with its complex, unpulsed soundworld, its just intonation, and
its ambitious scale.” -Daryl Jamieson from Aesthetics for Birds about Einvaldsóður which he selected as number 4 on the top 5 for contemporary music pieces of the decade 2010-2019.
“The opening of the work was breathtaking, . . . it was a beautiful and stunning resolution.” –Simon Cummings on Laberico Narabida in 5against4 in February 2019
“Gudmundur Steinn Gunnarsson’s glistening “Grafgata“ . . .” -Steve Smith on Grafgata for The New York Times in April 2013
“A pointillist st-st-st-st-stroke from an Icelandic composer whose Autechresque sense of rhythm blurs the lines between organized, random, and sheer madness. He makes a 27-instrument ensemble sound like rain falling on a Guitar Center.” -Christopher R. Weingarten for SPIN magazine about Horpma on the end of year avant list 2011.
“. . . To most this will sound like music for transcendental meditation, but what it really is is the new in contemporary classical composition.” -Thomas R. Erdmann in Jazz Review July 2011